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  1. #1

    Post

    Noticed a couple of drones with rope or string like wings over the last two weeks. Didn't appear too healthy either. Any thoughts on that? Suspect it could be mites and will be checking for them in the next couple of days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    An infestation per drone cell of 4 mites or less will not generally cause deformities in drones. An infestation of 5 or more mites per cell will normally result in drones with deformed wings or legs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    There is a strong possibility the the wing deformities are viral in nature. Such colonies can be difficult to overwinter, even with low mite counts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    Very possibly the deformed wing virus. Our untreated bees often get that by mid to late summer of the second year if they've overwintered. Seems once a large number of bees are infected with it the hive is a goner even after getting rid of the mites. Last summer some overwintered untreated hives started having more and more bees show up with deformed wings. We poured the bees into a large box with powdered sugar. Rolled the box around to stir up the bees and I'm sure we got most of the phoretic mites. There were so many, many more mites in the powdered sugar than one would have thought. Then we removed all the brood and replaced that with clean drawn comb. The hives still perished.

    [size="1"][ September 04, 2006, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: Dick Allen ][/size]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I've got one hive in which I've seen an occassional bee with deformed wings. I think I've seen as many as 2 during an inspection. It was a swarm I caught this summer. I did a 3 day drop count on it and found no mites to speak of, and the hive doesn't show any other signs of PMS or evidence of mites.

    I decided not to worry about it. I'm planning on wintering this single deep hive on top of a full sized colony. We'll see what happens.
    Dulcius ex asperis

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